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Col. Jimmie Laurance Jay, USAF-retired, of Port Haywood, Va., died Friday, Nov. 4, 2011, of complications from surgery. He was 75.

Col. Jay was born May 8, 1936 in Abilene, Texas, the son of the late Henry Lawrence Jay and Ora Stubblefield Jay.

He graduated from Newman High School in Sweetwater, Texas, and spent one year at McMurray College in Abilene before entering the United States Air Force Academy as a member of its historic first class. Upon graduation from the Air Force Academy in 1959, he was commissioned a second lieutenant and successfully completed pilot training before reporting to duty at Langley Air Force Base.

His first marriage was to the former Hazel Beddingfield Hale of Wilmington, N.C., in 1961.

During his 24-year Air Force career, Col. Jay had a number of assignments including three tours in Southeast Asia, the Pentagon, McChord Air Force Base and other locations. As a command pilot, he flew numerous missions throughout the world. He retired from active duty as the Wing Commander at Altus Air Force Base in June 1983. Among his many decorations was the Distinguished Flying Cross. Following his retirement from the Air Force, Col. Jay had a second career as an aviation consultant.

He and his wife, Judy, permanently moved to Whitfield Landing, their home on Horn Harbor in July 1997 and he began a happy retired life. An avid bibliophile, historian and gun collector, Col. Jay enjoyed riding his motorcycle along the back roads of Mathews County. He and his wife were busy world travelers, having visited numerous countries over the years. They especially enjoyed the time spent in their timeshare in Cancun, Mexico.

He was a member of the Mathews Yacht Club, the Mathews County Historical Society, the Order of Daedalians, Rappahannock Rifle and Pistol Club, POETS, the Retired Officers of Mathews County Association, and two book clubs.

In addition to his parents, Col. Jay was preceded in death by his sister, Delores Fredeck.

He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Judith Milligan Jay; his son, Michael Lawrence Jay (Catherine) of Fairfax, Va.; his daughter, Mary Jay Tyndall (Clifford) of Wilmington, N.C.; two stepdaughters, Janet Marshall Boots of Woodbridge, Va., and Elizabeth Marshall Perry (Jonathan) of Charlotte, N.C. He is further survived by six beloved grandchildren, Barrett Lawrence Jay, Kirsten Elizabeth Scott (Michael), Paul Kenneth Boots II, Sydney Eileen Perry, Carson Jonathan Perry and Reece Mason Perry.

A memorial service was held at First Presbyterian Church in Gloucester on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 11 a.m. Internment will take place at a later date at the United States Air Force Academy.

It is suggested that memorial contributions be made to the Mathews Volunteer Rescue Squad in lieu of flowers.